The diary of a Christian woman: Tis the season – Part one

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The Holidays was always my favorite time of year. Thanksgiving was my favorite and the icing on the cake was that it ended with Christmas. I loved the feeling Christmas would bring and I loved waking up Christmas morning to watch my kids open presents. The decorating, the cooking, just everything about it made me happy. My mom always made sure that we had a good Christmas and when I became a mother, I always tried to make sure my kids had a good Holiday as well. Then I met Bud.. I am calling him Bud because using his real name is out of the question.

If you looked up the word narcissist in the dictionary, you’d probably find his picture next to it. To say I was naïve to his red flags is an understatement. I’ve never really talked about this part of being in an abusive relationship and have pretty much watered down anything I say when it comes to Bud. I’ve told people that Bud was a great person and that he just fell victim to his demons. Up until Bud, the men I dated previously were just bad relationships and I would never use the word abuse because until he came along, I was never abused by men.

The first Christmas with Bud was a great one. He gave me great presents, he gave my son his very first guitar and he made that feeling of family complete. He was always there when I needed him and made things very simple for me. We had only been dating for a few months at this point and I was still living with my mom, so he was still working his way into my heart. At this point he was doing a great job! Our relationship was based around sex.. a lot of it. So much in fact that I lost weight. Who needs a gym when you have a man that is high on meth. I didn’t even know he was high on meth, I thought he was just really into me. You don’t have to say it, I already know how sad that sounds. The only drug I ever did was smoke pot, anything outside of that I was not interested in.

I knew other stuff existed but I didn’t know what it did or how it affected people. I had absolutely no idea he was high around me. Like I said, he blinded me with his charm. I was 29 years old when we met, I so tired of being in bad relationships and the way he swooped in on his white horse convinced me that I hit the jack pot. The first time I caught him in a lie should have been the day I got rid of him but he convinced me that he was “trying” to be better for me. He got a phone call in the middle of the night from his buddy talking about some girl. I heard the entire conversation take place but Bud had no idea I could hear the person on the other end of the phone. When he hung up the phone, I innocently asked him if everything was okay and he lied straight to my face. He lied without even blinking an eye and I called him out on it. He was going to see another woman but he told me his friend was stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. Even after I caught him in the lie, he still left to go see this woman and I let him come back. I already know what you’re thinking… but why? I wish I had an answer to that question. Everyone makes mistakes right? Everyone deserves a second chance and I gave bud about 10,325 chances over a course of 10 years.

Some time later, my mom moved out of the house we were living in and Bud moved in. That is when his true colors really started to shine through but some how he always convinced me it was my fault. I kept catching him talking to other women and I kept forgiving him. Let’s fast forward to Christmas of 2010, it was our first Christmas together as a “family”. Since we were officially living together, I noticed his drinking habits were becoming questionable. The man loved his bud light, hence why I named him Bud! He could make a twelve pack disappear in a matter of hours. Not only was he drinking but his drug use was becoming noticeable to me as well. He would disappear for days and then would come home to crash. It wasn’t until later that I found out it was meth.

It was right after Thanksgiving so the Christmas decorations were coming out. The kids loved to decorate the Christmas tree and we were gathered in the living room when Bud came home. He already seemed a little moody but I ignored it and continued on with getting the ornaments ready for the tree. I had a full time job as a manager of a portrait studio and having two kids, my schedule was a bit hectic around the Holidays. House keeping would fall behind during my real busy seasons and honestly I just wasn’t the best at it. Don’t get me wrong, I would try but it was just so much and I got overwhelmed very easy. This particular night, he was mad about the laundry room being full of clothes and I admit it was pretty bad. Laundry is the one thing I hate doing and I wouldn’t do it until it was absolutely needed. Well it was just bad enough for him to explode and this was the first time I seen him that angry.

I can’t remember exactly what set him off that night but we started to argue. I tried very hard to keep it quiet because I didn’t want my kids to hear it and decorating the Christmas tree was a special time for them. The more I tried to defuse the situation the worse it got, I probably smarted off at him which in return made him angrier and he proceeded to throw the dirty laundry all over the house. Not only was he throwing it all over the house but he was using every cuss word in the book and calling me all kinds of names… at the top of his lungs… in front of my kids. Once the laundry had been thrown all over the house, he grabbed the trash can and threw trash all over the house too.

I sat on the couch watching my kids cry with Christmas ornaments in their hands while he was grabbing his stuff to move out of the house. He kept telling my kids it was my fault this was happening that they needed to thank me for the reason their Christmas was being ruined. And all I did was sit there watching it all happen because I had no idea what to do. I’m pretty sure I was in shock and was having an out of body experience. He slammed the door as he left us in shambles and minutes later returned apologizing for his actions. That quick he went from being the biggest jerk I’ve ever seen in my life to being the most loving man I’ve ever seen in my life. He hugged the kids and told them he was sorry as he helped them finishing decorating the tree. I got up and cleaned the house up, still trying to process what just happened.

Why would I stay with that? Because in my mind, I couldn’t ask my mom for help.. again.. I had been living with her on and off my entire life so I was tired of being a burden. But mostly I didn’t want to admit that the man I’d fallen for was a total butt hole. I was embarrassed and I felt like a horrible person putting my kids through this mess. It was stupid of me to think that way, I had a great paying job and was perfectly capable of paying my own bills, but the fear set in thinking I wouldn’t be able to do it. He was really good to me as long as I didn’t’ make him mad. That Christmas was only the beginning and every Holiday after that just got worse. I would dread any special day because he ruined every one of them. Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas.. all of them. The more it would happen, the more shame that piled on top of me and the more numb I would get.

Every morning I check my Facebook memories and eight years ago I posted “Tis the season”. I didn’t say that because it was time to be joyful, I said that because it was time for the madness to start. To this day, I have no idea what it was about the Holidays that would make him so angry but each year I would try so hard to keep the peace.

A few years later, I ended up losing my job at the portrait studio and was living off of unemployment. After a few months, I got a job as a property manager making really good money. Then I found out he was doing meth and he was cheating on me with a girl I considered my friend. The night I found out about it all he was passed out in our bed with a McDonald’s apple pie in his mouth. He was crashing from being awake for days. I grabbed his phone to go through it and I couldn’t count the women he was messaging. This finally got me to my breaking point. Some how I managed to wake him up and kicked his ass right out of the house, I was finally done.. I was finally free!!! I gave notice to my landlord that I would be moving out of the house and got an apartment that I could afford on my own.

He tried everything he could do to get back in my good graces and I turned them all down. Three days after I kicked him out he showed up on my door step with snot running down his face begging me to take him back. I slammed the door in his face at first but then my stupid behind went and let him in the house. He said all the right words and begged for my forgiveness. Okay.. I’ll take you back. We are going to move into a new place, leave this house with all this bad juju and start over. We spent over $600 repairing all the door frames, holes & replacements on the stuff that had been destroyed in our fighting. He was very destructive in his anger.

Our first Christmas in our new place, he got drunk and wrote me a letter. He wrapped the letter up in a box and gave it to me on Christmas Eve/ early Christmas morning. He didn’t have any money to buy me a gift because he sucked. The letter told me how great I was and that I deserved nothing but the best. He also wrote that he knew he was not the man I deserved and that he was going to change. He cried the entire time I read it and I fake cried so he thought I gave a crap what that letter said. I hugged him while he cried into my shirt and rubbed his back while I told him that he was a great person. The further I got into this relationship the harder it was to get out. I was so ashamed and so embarrassed that I kept allowing this to continue.

I’m 2,000 words into this and I’ve barely covered the first three years. The emotional abuse started right off the bat but I didn’t realize it. The physical abuse started about a year later and the sexual abuse started a few years into it. Each year around this time, heaviness starts to set in. I just want it to come and go so I don’t have to think about it.

I was so hopeless of ever feeling true joy in my life. Waking up on a Christmas morning feeling any kind of joy ever again was nothing more than a fantasy. Each year since I’ve left him has gotten better because God replaces my heaviness with peace and in that peace I feel lighter. Its amazing how much I have been able to overcome in four short years. Going from feeling no hope to having something to look forward to is all God. Next Christmas, I get to watch my grand son light up with excitement when he sees Christmas lights. He will still be pretty little to open presents but each Holiday after that will be nothing but joy.

The healing process of staying so quiet for so long has been a tough road. God has restored me from all of it but has now laid it on me to give all the horrible details, because there are people out there still living in that fear. Whether you are still in the relationship presently or still recovering from it, there is hope. I’m living proof of that hope. I didn’t think I’d ever have a way out of the hell I found myself in. I’ve opened up to some people about the things that took place but no one really has a clue what really happened because I hid it all. What would people think of me if they knew I allowed my kids to live in that hell and that I wouldn’t ask for help to get out of it. All I did was take up for him and for years really truly thought it was my fault all of that happened.

Instead of hiding from people this Holiday season, I am giving a gift of hope. Hope in Jesus.. There is a way out, if he did it for me then he can do it for you. Don’t read this and feel sorry for me because I am fine! I want you to see a glimpse into what God saved me from. I’ve decided to turn my pain into your motivation to fight. God is there waiting for you to reach out to him because he loves you so much. Even if you think your situation isn’t as bad, abuse is abuse. I don’t care what form it comes in.

When Bud was near me, I had a list of of do’s and don’ts running through my head to make sure nothing set him off. Especially if he was drinking.. No one should have to live like that. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank the Lord for saving my life. Since I’m already 2, 500 words into this, I’m going to close this up now. Over a series of entries, I plan on sharing the bad stuff. I’m going to show you all that God restored me from.

I love your face..

Stay tuned..

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